Tongren County – Thangka Painting and Rebkong Arts

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The ancient Amdo, today known as Tongren County is the capital of the smallest administrative subdivision area within the Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province in the People's Republic of China. Tongren is also known as Rebgong in Tibetan language. Out of 80,000 populations, 75% are Tibetans and rests are ethnic minority groups. The county has an area of 3,465 kilometers is the land of many Tibetan Buddhist Temples. Apart from Buddhist temples, there significant number of Longwu Temples scattered around this area.  The Longwu Temples belongs to the Gelupa sect, famously known as Yellow Hat sects.

The old city still carries the pride of history

This county is famous for Thangka painting and Rebkong arts.  Rebkong arts were nominated to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in the year 2009.   The history of Tongren is very much interesting.  This is an impressive old city with history extended back to ancient eras, persevered by authorities to give the tourists a true reflection of China's yester years!  The buildings are constructed suiting to the terrain of the land.  The old town still holds the old buildings which are with very simple construction and very much attractive in their peculiar design features.

The much talked six ethnic communities known as Han, Tibet, Hui, Sala, Bao and Dongxiang are living here.   Also you can see the three famous temples namely, Yuantong, Longwu and Mosque here.  These temples belong to Tibetan Buddhism, Han Buddhism and Muslim communities. These three communities peacefully co-exist here and thrive to put their efforts jointly and bring prosperity to the county.

Travelling to Tongren:

Road net work services are not developed to a comfortable level. Tourist can catch train from Xining and get off at Wutun Shangzhuang Station.  From there Tongren is very close.  Also tourists can hope from Guiyang to Tongren and change your train from Yuiping. Tourist originating from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou can board train to Huaihua and from there can take cab to Tongren. Those who take ferry route can travel along Wujiang River and get off at Guizhou Yan River and from there can travel by bus to Tongren.  Also there are Air Transport services from almost all major cities to Tongren Daxing Airport. From the Airport it is just half an hour journey to the city. There are airport bus services, which will drop you to your location for a minimum payment of CNY 10 per head.

Visit for a purpose

The Rebgong art has lot of admirers all over the world. It has strong influence of Tibetan Buddhism and is connected with tinted folk art form, which are mainly depicts the Buddha figures into sculptors and paintings. The art form has more than seven hundred years of history which is an outstanding example to showcase how Chinese history or ancient people maintained their skills and carried forward them for their future generations. Tourists or people who are interested to know much about Tibetan culture and the quintessential Tibetan heritage, this is the place one should not miss to visit.

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